Rancho Sao Benedito
Rancho Sao Benedito is one of those family farms of the kind you find quite often in Brazil. The estate has been in the family since the end of the 19th century. Initially, it was simultaneously a horse-breeding farm and a banana and cacao farm. During those years, the family kept a small plot under coffee cultivation. Only when the current owner, Mariana de Carvalho Junqueira, inherited the farm in the 1950s, Rancho Sao Benedito started changing its course towards coffee production. Mariana invested in proper machines to handle the post-harvest process and planted the estate with high-quality seedlings. Gradually, she expanded the coffee production area of the farm to the current 35 hectares.
Nowadays, her son Márcio manages Rancho Sao Benedito. Family members manage the neighboring estates. This allows them to process their coffee centrally, lower the costs and have more coffee processing knowledge all in the same place.
Quality at Rancho Sao Benedito starts with the selection of high-quality varieties and seedlings. The farm has its own nursery, where they can control the growth of the new seedlings in a way that their root system perfectly adapts to the requirements of the farm. Great attention to farm management outside the harvest seasons then takes the quality of the coffee to the next level.
Having healthy plants is a good start to great coffee quality, but all steps following the harvest can either make or break this quality. For this reason, Rancho Sao Benedito invests in the highest quality processing equipment and keeps their drying patio in perfect conditions. Straight after harvesting, the cherries are collected and taken to the processing center. Cherry selection happens through flotation and a visual inspection. The cherries pass through the depulper, which removes most of the fruit and mucilage from the beans. Without fermentation or extra washing, the sticky parchment goes straight to the drying patio. Here, the coffee will dry for about a week if the weather conditions are good.